An Ohio police officer is reportedly recovering after accidentally overdosing during a traffic stop.
According to NBC affiliate station WFMJ, officers saw a suspicious vehicle involved in what appeared to be a drug transaction Friday night and eventually pulled the vehicle over in East Liverpool.
During the stop, the driver of the car allegedly tried to use his foot to rub a white powder into the carpet.
The report states that several piles of white powder were discovered throughout the vehicle and on the driver’s shoes. Small knotted baggies also appeared to have been torn open.
Patrolman Chris Green entered the car to stop the driver, identified as 25-year-old Justin Buckle, from destroying potential evidence, authorities reportedly said.
Police said the suspects initially told them the white powder was cocaine, but when it tested negative for that drug, the pair revealed it was actually a dangerous opioid known as fentanyl.
Soon after, Green fell ill and it was determined some of the fentanyl had gotten onto his skin and he was experiencing the effects of an opioid overdose, WFMJ reports.
“Officer Green does a great job and it was just a freak accident that he just accidentally bumped up against something while he was searching this vehicle and for him to drop out like that is shocking,” said Captain Patrick Wright with the East Liverpool Police Department.
Fentanyl, which has been linked to hundreds of overdosing deaths across the country recently, particularly in Ohio, poses an enhanced threat because simply touching the powder can put a first responder at risk, officials said.
“Chris is a big, strong guy, he’s an ex-MMA fighter, 220-something pounds of solid muscle and it overtook him just like that,” said Wright.
Green was given Narcan, a life-saving overdose reversal drug, and is expected to be OK, according to WFMJ.
A 24-year-old passenger in the car, Cortez Collins, was also reportedly found to have warrants out for his arrest for the alleged possession of carfentanil, a powerful opioid and fentanyl analog also known as an elephant tranquilizer.
Both Collins and Buckle were charged with tampering with evidence, but authorities expected more charges would be filed, WFMJ reports.
Published 2 hours ago | Updated 58 minutes ago